Josh Chandler | December 13, 2023

Music Therapy: Approach to Addiction Treatment

A powerful complementary therapy in addiction, music therapy helps people move their recovery forward. Music therapy allows people who are recovering from addiction to experience an alternative to psychotherapy approaches, the traditional therapies associated with substance abuse treatment. Alternative treatments can enhance the recovery process, but not all treatment centers offer them. Muse Treatment features evidence-based treatments as well as alternative and holistic therapies that are known to support long-term recovery.

At Muse Treatment, clients can enroll in inpatient or outpatient treatment plans. We also feature medical detox, dual diagnosis treatment, medication-assisted treatment, and aftercare programming. Our clinicians are licensed and experienced. They individualize treatment to ensure each client gets the support they need to achieve their recovery goals.

Music therapy offers people in recovery many benefits. For instance, clients often report an improvement in stress relief and focus. Though not a cure for substance use disorders, music therapy can enhance recovery. That’s why Muse is pleased to promote this treatment and similar alternative and holistic treatment options.


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The Power of Music Therapy in Addiction Recovery

Muse combines evidence-based treatments and holistic therapies to provide clients with a robust level of support. Stress reduction is an important, even essential, aspect of substance addiction management. Stress is a major trigger for relapse and, often, one of the factors involved in the development of drug or alcohol addiction. The power of music therapy is that it can enhance addiction recovery by helping to reduce stress. By participating in music therapy, clients can use the techniques learned during treatment sessions as a long-term coping method if they choose. 

Often, holistic therapies become important coping strategies for clients. To manage their substance use disorder, clients need to adopt strategies that help them cope with triggers to use. Managing stress and minimizing negative emotions are crucial for the long-term recovery process. Music therapy can help. 

Exploring Music Therapy for Addiction Recovery

Music therapy supports addiction recovery in various ways. As mentioned, it can play an important role by helping to reduce stress. Managing stress can be difficult for people, especially in the early stages of recovery when they’re still learning how to manage their emotions in healthful ways. Music therapy can relax negative emotions, reduce stress, and in doing so, speed the recovery process. 

During music therapy sessions, therapists employ various techniques. Clients do not have to be proficient in the use of an instrument. Generally, techniques are basic and involve sound activities or simple instruments. Music therapy can promote mindfulness, allowing clients to focus on the moment and, in doing so, worry less about their stressors. In this way, the mind gets time to heal as stress is minimized and the client can enjoy the respite from worry.

Benefits of Music Therapy in Rehab Settings

music therapy for addiction recovery

What are the benefits of music therapy? As mentioned, stress reduction is a key element of music therapy. Clients who adopt music as a means of coping with stress may be able to rely on this method of stress reduction for the long term. 

Clients who participate in music therapy have an alternative opportunity to express themselves in a non-verbal way. Not all people are comfortable talking about their problems or addiction. Music therapy, like art therapy, is ideal for clients to give voice to their emotions without the use of words. 

Music therapy can also bolster clients’ self-esteem. As clients learn new techniques and can take more ownership of their stress management, they tend to feel empowered and more confident in their ability to manage their addiction effectively. 

Music therapy also offers some physical benefits. For example, as stress becomes reduced, clients experience a more relaxed breathing rate. They may feel less muscle tension. Headaches may dissipate. Stress generates both mental and physical symptoms. This form of therapy can enhance both physical and mental health simply by reducing stress. 

How Music Supports Holistic Addiction Treatment

Holistic addiction treatments support whole-person health. They don’t just target the addiction. However, by supporting other aspects of health and well-being, they support the addiction recovery process. Various holistic therapies are effective for addiction treatment. However, many people simply enjoy the power of music and choose to continue with this method of condition management even after completing their rehab program. Many holistic treatments embody activities or strategies that clients can use for recovery maintenance well into the future or even indefinitely. 

Using Music to Cope with Cravings and Triggers

Triggers are those elements that ‘tempt’ a person to use drugs or alcohol. A person may experience cravings to use even after detox for some time. However, music therapy can help clients manage their cravings and triggers. When a person experiences cravings or triggers like emotional stress (i.e. loneliness, sadness, or fear), they might feel compelled to drink or use a drug to dispel those triggers. Music can healthfully reduce those triggers and cravings. In this way, music therapy can become a vital part of a person’s relapse prevention plan. 


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Emotional Healing Through Music in Rehab

Negative emotions are often the harbingers of relapse. Negative emotions like anger and fear are powerful. They can trigger a person to begin to think about using drugs or alcohol again. When struggling with emotions, clients might think about returning to places where they know drugs or alcohol can be found. They might call negative influences such as friends who continue to abuse drugs or alcohol. 

Music therapy helps clients manage these emotions before they can lead to relapse. Less stress allows clients to more successfully manage their substance use disorder. As clients cope with their negative emotions in healthier ways, they can experience emotional healing that supports the recovery process. 

Music as a Tool for Stress Reduction in Recovery

During the addiction treatment process, clients learn how important it is to manage stress. Stress management is a core aspect of an effective addiction management plan. People who struggle to manage stress are at heightened risk of relapse. Stress is a normal part of life, but it must be managed well. During rehab, clients learn many different strategies for managing their stress and triggers. Music therapy is simply one that clients can rely on to reduce stress and keep their recovery on track. 

The Role of Group Music Therapy for Addiction Recovery

At Muse Treatment, we feature music therapy in a group dynamic. This allows clients to connect with peers who are also working on their recovery plans. Group therapy in general is beneficial for the recovery process. At Muse, we offer both individual and group therapies as both dynamics can support lasting recovery. 

Muse Treatment’s Approach to Music Therapy in Addiction Treatment

Muse Treatment features effective support for substance use disorder recovery. Let us help you learn ways to manage your addiction and achieve your recovery goals. Contact Muse to learn more about our music therapy and other treatment approaches. Remember that Muse offers inpatient and outpatient treatment programs–all of which combine evidence-based and holistic therapies. By managing your addiction successfully, you can protect your health and future. We look forward to helping you transform your life for the better. 

Addiction Treatment Center,Drug Rehab,music therapy,
Josh Chandler
Josh Chandler
After growing up in Chicago and North Carolina, Josh chose to get help with substance use disorder and mental health in California because of the state's reputation for top-tier treatment. There, he found the treatment he needed to achieve more than five years of recovery. He's been in the drug and alcohol addiction rehab industry for four years and now serves as the Director of Admissions for Resurgence Behavioral Health. Josh remains passionate about the field because he understands that one phone call can alter the course of a person's life.

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